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A Sea of Wildfires in 2011

Wildfires have plagued much of the Southern U.S. in 2011. The data shown here plots the locations of all wildfires detected by sensors aboard the NOAA AVHRR and GOES Imager, and NASA MODIS satellite sensors over the entire year-to-date. Each red point is one fire - and there are thousands of them plotted here. The data shows over 346,000 fires - though that is an overestimate since different satellites may double-count the same fire "target," but some may not see any at all. NCDC has tallied the number of U.S. wildfires at 33,109, but this number relies on human observations on the ground, which is probably an underestimate. The Okefenokee Swamp fire near the Florida-Georgia border, along with the Wallows fire in eastern Arizona are clearly visible as large red areas. The Okefenokee has been burning for months, and the Wallows is now the largest in Arizona history. Persistent droughts and high winds throughout much of the Southwest have created conditions ideal for wildfires during much of the winter and spring of 2011. Many of the fires in Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska are also drought-induced. The large fire signatures south of Lake Okeechobee in Florida are agricultural in nature.

A Sea of Wildfires in 2011
 
 
Referral:NOAA HMS Fire Data
Copyright:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Keywords:fire, wildfire, HMS, POES, GOES, MODIS, 2011.06.15

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